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chicken and dumplings

1 whole chicken (approx 4 lbs)
1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
2 ribs celery, coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp. salt (optional)
1/2 tsp freshly ground white pepper
1 bay leaf
1 cup chopped carrots
parsley (optional)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt (optional)
1/4 cup vegetable shortening, chilled

Place chicken in a large pot. Add about 2 quarts water, 
onions, celery, salt, pepper and bay leaf. Over high heat, 
bring to boil. Skim off foam. Reduce heat; cover, and 
simmer chicken until very tender, about 2 hours. Let 
chicken cool in broth remove chicken from pot. Skim fat 
from surface of broth. Strain broth and return to pot; 
simmer to reduce to about 1 quart.

Meanwhile, to make the dumplings; In a large bowl, 
combine flour and ((if desired) salt. Add vegetables 
shortening; mix in with pastry blender or fork until 
mixture resembles coarse meal. add just enough chilled 
water (about 6 tbs.) to dough to make it the consistency 
of piecrust dough. Bring chicken broth back to boil; 
drop in spoonfuls of dough, a few at a time. When 
all dough strips are in pot, add chicken. Reduce 
heat to low; simmer, uncovered, until dumplings are done, 
about 35 min. During cooking, occasionally stir gently, 
just enough to keep dumplings submerged and to prevent 
those on the bottom from sticking to the pot. 



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